Monday, October 3, 2011

Decisions and Business

Kind of productive day for me on the writing front. I wrote a short story called "Disappear", about 2500 2900 words, spawned solely from (I kid you not) a joke made by my cover artist about "Wallpeople". (All one word.)

About business:
I have to say I have some significant degree of agreement with Michael Kingswood. Ninety-nine cent novels undervalue the author, and the time spent crafting and bringing a story to life. Good writing can stand on its own legs with reasonable prices. My pricing scale is about the same as his but I believe this is how it will be:

$0.99: Shorts, up to 7,500/non-novelettes
$1.99: Novelettes (10,000~17,499), episodic releases (20k)
$2.99: Novellas (stand-alone), 40k
$3.99: Novels starting at 60k

I fully agree that pricing is the first indication to a customer of length. Because the lowest price is $0.99, we should make the "shortest" category conform there. Michael chooses 25k as his threshold, but for some reason 20k feels better to me. Maybe because I'm stuck on that length, having an episodic series?

So I think my pricing scale is a little less complicated. Formulaically (I think I just made that word up), we have $0.99 as a constant (c). So:

(length/20k, rounded to nearest whole, zero inclusive) + c = $

If I end up with a piece that's, say, 30k, and falls in between the 1.99/2.99 (1+c - 2+c) realm, it will have to be author's discretion. Is this the best thing I've ever written? $2.99. Am I pleased, but understand it's not my Nobel Prize submission? $1.99. I have discretion ;)

What this means:
Effective soon... relatively immediately, the prices for my works will be changing. I've heard Amazon can take 24-72 hours to simply change prices (!!). So sometime in that timeframe, expect them to change. I won't make the move until tomorrow (September 4th, EST).

IH episodes will go from $0.99 to $1.99.

"Shackled" will go from $2.99 to $3.99.

I'm sure people will think I'll hurt myself and lose sales by adopting this pricing scheme. Last month, with 6 releases, I sold 6 copies. You know how far I can drop? Six. I think I'll risk it :)

Please expect future releases to follow this pattern!

I would also like to announce the teaser for "Emergence", the first IH omnibus. It will bind the first 5 (five) episodes of Icarus Helix together into one volume. As per the above formula, this 100k omnibus will be priced $5.99, actually almost a $4 savings from buying the single episodes :) (at the new price).

Last bit of news - sorry for my ranty sort of whine yesterday. I'm feeling a bit better today and I would like to tentatively announce THE THUNDERSTORM. Why, what's that, you ask? I plan on releasing a slew (and I mean a SLEW) of finished works in November. This of course depends largely on my ability to finish them - ha, ha. Four is the minimum. I expect "Disappear", "Emergence" and/or "Frigid" / episode 7 to release. If I can really get my ass in gear, I hope to also release "Heaven", "Image" and if I REALLY move it, the unannounced "Youth". Please look forward to them :)

And I just glanced at my sidebar and realized I have two other shorties over there, "Glouscene (Working Title)" and "Pancake Man (WT)"... NaNoWriMo comes early for me? :P Except I'm shorts not novels, so maybe I should call it NaShoWriMo? That's fun to say ;) NaShoWriMo! (Aka: THE THUNDERSTORM.)

Comments, thoughts, criticisms welcome... you know where to leave 'em!

1 comment:

  1. I know this is going to shock you, but I concur. :)

    I look at some indie writers whose sales are in the big time but who only charge $.99, and I cringe to think of all the money they leave on the table. But, but...they wouldn't have sold that much if they'd priced it higher! Really? That implies that the only reason their work was worth buying is that it's cheap. I call BS. If you're selling in the thousands, it's because your stuff is good, not because it's cheap. So when I see someone who sells, say, 100,000 copies but only makes $35,000 (I can think of at least one writer this applies to), I can only shake my head. Have some confidence in yourself and in the readers and price it where you can make a decent profit from it.


    Of course, if you're not selling in the thousands it's even MORE important to get a good margin from each sale. But then like you, I'm a business person. I'm not thinking like an "artist".

    Great post!

    Michael Kingswood

    PS - Shameless plug. I just pub'd a new novelette last night called Delphinus. Details on my website.